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The Screaming Skull

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The Screaming Skull

Published 1958
Topics horror

A widower remarries and the couple move into the house he shared with his previous wife. Only the ghost of the last wife might still be hanging around.
Find out more about this film on it's IMDB page.

Run time 1:07:21
Producer T. Frank Woods
Production Company Madera Production
Audio/Visual sound, b&w
Language English


Reviewer: gaffer007 - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 8, 2013
Subject: Good but...
The pleasure of watching this film can be seriously spoiled by poor quality of it's sound and picture.
Reviewer: hgoodall - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 13, 2011
Subject: I remember this one
This one is scary, but not as scary as The Death Ship episode of the Twilight Zone. I'll upload it as soon as I can find it in the 10,000 banned books and films file I have on an external hard drive.
Reviewer: PhaedraBlue - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 8, 2011
Subject: Wow! This movie terrified me when I was a kid.
I DL four different versions of this and found the IPOD DL to have the clearest audio and video. Next would be the OGV second.

The opening scene is obsolutely classic! This is a classic 1950s B-movie. Think Gaslight with SKULLS! This is a very low budget flick except as another reviewer mentioned for the car. Great car btw. I wonder if this house still exists? Does anyone know? I think it's very creative of the director, Alex Nicol, to rent or borrow an empty mansion for the setting of this film and write into the script reasons for no furniture; really great.

Another review dissed the actress for screaming at the least little thing. Hey, that was the role for the female actress in a B scary movie. The better the screamer the better the flick. Am I right folks?

Oh, if you haven't seen Screaming Skull before this, do not scroll to the bottom of the reviews. The second to the last review or the second review depending upon your perspective is a total SPOILER! No detail is left out.

Happy SCREAMING!!!!!
Reviewer: Bobinlr - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 7, 2010
Subject: I'm still waiting
I couldn't finish watching it because I died of fright. I'm still waiting for the burial reimbursement.
Reviewer: picfixer - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 5, 2010
Subject: Ear plugs please!
This one really should have been titled "The Screaming Wife," for the leading lady's tendency to let go with both lungs at every creaking board. Anyway, it's a low-budget, wife-in-peril, supernatural suspense/horror with a okay cast of five. Having nothing to work with except a large vacant house, the director builds suspense nicely, and does some good stuff with light and shadow. The screenplay is ordinary. The few special effects are very dated, yet somehow manage to be effective rather than funny in the climactic final scenes. I like little movies that are able to make something out of practically nothing. This is one of them.
Reviewer: susyfreelove - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 23, 2009
Subject: f@cking classic
This film is fantastic...If you love the old style Horror flick: dark shadows, candlelight, long silences. The over dramatization of that era (1958) and the plot: triumphant yet tragic female showing both innocence and revenge,the symbololgy relating to women and their relationship to their mothers plus a great twist at the end.
I loved it!
Reviewer: Laraine_Lynn - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 16, 2009
Subject: Great movie but problem with sound on .avi file
Great sci-fi movie. Sound on the .avi file has noise problems-loud cracking kinds of sound. The sound on the .ogv file is OK.
Reviewer: Bizr Pix - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 25, 2009
Subject: funny movie, bad copy
I bought this on VHS in the 90s and thought it was hilarious. I loved the William Castle-esque gimmick at the beginning, and the scene with the bad guy wrestling with the skull was so absurdly funny. Suffice it to say that the movie's budget was far less than the sporty Mercedes used in the film. But that's part of its charm.

My problem with the online copy is this: why didn't the person who uploaded the movie spend a little time cropping the edges before spending all that time creating all the various formats? I chose the 3gb mpeg2, but there's a divx and 5 mpeg4 versions! I just don't understand why...

If you're curious about the lead actress (Peggy Webber), she appeared in Hitchcock's 'The Wrong Man' as the window clerk Henry Fonda speaks with at the insurance company. More noteworthy, she wrote, directed and produced in the early TV years, won an "Emmy" at the age of 21 for her early series 'Treasures of Literature', and played innumerable radio and TV roles.

5 stars for the film minus 1 star for the copy
Reviewer: SASKATCHEWAN - favorite - July 14, 2009
The best thing about this film is the disclaimer at the beginning. As it turns out, it's a lie, but it's still the best thing here.

Yes this film would be great viewing at Halloween...or at Christmas, Easter, Groundhog day, or any other time you feel like looking at shit.
Reviewer: Billhope1974 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 11, 2009
Subject: Grade Z but fun!
Yeah it's pretty much midnight movie fare but damn look at the hooters on the leading lady!! Worth a watch JUST for that!
Reviewer: MikeManners - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 3, 2009
Subject: Screeming Skull is worth a watch......
I know a lot of you smart ass pinheads love to bash this type of film genre but that it YOUR loss. "The Screeming Skull" is what it is - brain candy to thrill and amuse fans for 60+ minutes. This is not Shakespeare or Greek Tragedy - ITS A HORROR FLICK!!!!

Looking back..yeah it is Shockley and campy but that is what makes it so endearing to us Generation Xers.

Who amongst the 40+ crowd here after seeing this film did NOT have nightmares about the skull coming out of the portrait and hearing its hideous scream?
Reviewer: bestpbx - favoritefavorite - March 4, 2009
Subject: Female lead played by Mrs. Ed????????
The female lead has a HUGE horse face! And, huge horse teeth. And , then there is her LOOOONNNNNGGG horse's neck!

I wonder if they fed her with a bag of oats?
Reviewer: 20camlit - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2009
Subject: ipod version
I downloaded the iPod version of this film and found it to be clearer than some other MPEG 4 I have seen and the volume adjustment capability available in "Play" and right. click is also a boon.

The movie has wonderful atmosphere, almost as complex as some Brit films I've seen.

Part of what I've noticed from watching 50's movies, horror and mystery genres, is how important it is to "suspend disbelief." Contemporary films with their forensic like detail sometimes overlook the depth of art such as character development and the like, while at the same time raising viewer expectation for plot detail.

While "Screaming Skull" includes a bit more plot detail than a film like Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt," it's still a good idea not to expect ready answers to all the questions that develop as the movie progresses.

Rich in other regards, "Screaming Skull" is well worth a view.
Reviewer: Greg K - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 1, 2008
Subject: "The face of her skull was smashed!"
Creepy and spooky as heck....scared me as a kid, and I still love this film. My favorite "skull" movie of all time. Perfect Halloween viewing, too.
Reviewer: Campfire - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 31, 2008
Subject: Memories of a Misspent Youth
As a youngster in the 1950s, I was a horror movie "aholic". I saw every one that played anywhere within my reach. My mother warned me constantly that they would give me bad dreams, but in the end only two films have ever given me bad dreams as a child or any time in my life. This was one of them, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" was the other. Looking at "Screaming Skull" today it's hard to understand what there was about it that spoke to my subconscious fears as a youngster. Granted, the scene of the skull rapping on the door is genuinely spooky still, and as a generally unimpressionable kid in the 1950s, I felt that skull roll up beside me in bed in the middle of the night more than once! Of course, kids in the '50s watched movies to enjoy them, not to feel superior by mocking every detail of them -- good, bad or indifferent.
Reviewer: Moongleam - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 30, 2008
Subject: Not bad.
I've seen movies that were made by people who didn't know how to go about making a movie. This one is better than that; the writing, directing, and acting are competent. I found it easy to watch.
Reviewer: jimelena - favorite - December 13, 2006
Subject: Seen it
This was on the comedy channel once; on that show where they make fun of really bad movies.
So now I can't watch it without laughing.
It's a stinker.
Reviewer: Cherokee Jack - favoritefavorite - December 12, 2006
Subject: The Screaming Dull
Dr Strange's review pretty much sums up the entire film in a few sentences. You get a free coffin if you die while viewing "The Screaming Skull." Caveat: you do not get a free coffin if you fall asleep from boredom while viewing "The Screaming Skull."

The developmentally challenged gardener is none other than the film's director, Alex Nicol. Also, John Hudson, who plays the husband in this film, appears in the much better post-war short "Homes for Veterans" which can be found in the Prelinger Archives listing.
Reviewer: Dr Strange - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 28, 2006
Subject: Skull Me
"The Screaming Skull" still has it's place in my long list of "approved" B-movie viewing.

A husband brings his second wife to the family estate, tries to drive her insane with skull oriented halloween gags and invalidates her experiences with the unwitting help of the local priest. Developementally disabled gardener is thrown in for creepiness and scapegoating thrills. The ultimate goal is to kill wife number two and make it look like she committed suicide. The ghost of wife number one, who is buried on the estate, has the last laugh.

Low budget and cheesy, just like we like it.

We could easily remake this movie with Tori Spelling and Alec Baldwin. Great!

This copy has it's sound quality issues but I'm strictly rating the content.
Reviewer: billbarstad - favoritefavorite - November 28, 2006
Subject: Ho hum
If you're at all a fan of the mystery/horror genre, you've seen stories and plots like those used here before. Indeed, I believe I've seen this exact story in another film. There's nothing in this version to recommend it, but I did get a chuckle from the warning teaser -occasionally used in '50's horror movies - and the death scene at the end.

I downloaded the mpeg1 file. Sound and video are OK, though the film's sound engineering was poor. Probably the whole thing was shot over a weekend.
Reviewer: ademus69 - favorite - November 28, 2006
Subject: 5/20
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